Relieve Depression Through Hypnotherapy
Many people suffer the effects of depression privately and silently. I did for many years. I know now that my journey along the dark landscape of depression began in my teen years. I didn’t “come out” until I started my career as a Clinical Hypnotherapist 8 years ago. I have been able to open up with clients who were coming to see me due to depression because I feet that if they knew about me, they’d know I’d understand.
By the age of 23, I crashed, bewildered that I had "lost control". I had started a new, exciting career, was living in an amazing city (having moved from a much smaller one), and all of a sudden I was unable to cope. All I wanted to do was to hide under my covers and never get up or cry my eyes out till they were swollen shut. The world was all shades of grey and I walked through my life putting on a happy face which ultimately cost me the very energy I needed to get up every day. And I kept it to myself, fearing that I would be labeled "crazy", "unstable" and "too emotional". I feared losing my job, my credibility, my friends and having family brush it off! Thus began my foray into Psychiatry and the world of medications.
Even with the major strides in society today, many people, including family members, friends, employers and co-workers, perceive depression as a stigma, that depressed people are imbalanced... mentally ill. I know that the common statement given by the well intentioned to my clients is that “it’s all in their mind”. And it is! I learned that first- hand. However, it isn’t something you can just talk yourself out of or decide to stop feeling that way.
Depression in and of itself is not an emotion. It is a state of mind caused by a emotion or emotions that affect the mind and body negatively and produce negative symptoms. It is sometimes described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. But we all feel that way at times in our lives. It’s usually short lived. Depression that is NOT short lived and continues over weeks, months or years can be debilitating.
Many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I was labeled with SAD in 1991. It hit around early fall. SAD is more common in women than in men, often appearing in young adulthood. People who live in northern latitudes, as we do, also have an increased risk of developing SAD.
Here are cited statistics according to Health Canada and Statistic
Approximately 8% of adult Canadians will experience a major depression at some point in their lives, and around 5% will in a given year.
Rates of depression are especially high among Canadian youth.
Depression can affect children, seniors and adult men and women of all socio-economic backgrounds
Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with depression. However, this may simply indicate that men are less comfortable seeking help or do not get an accurate diagnosis since depression in men often manifests itself as a substance use problem.
THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
- Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or numb
- Restlessness, irritability, or anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Less interest or participation in activities normally enjoyed
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Repeated thoughts of death or suicide
- Low energy and feeling tired all the time
- Changes in appetite or weight (eating more or less)
- Change in sleep pattern (sleeping more or less)
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
- Self destructive behavior, loss of control, or uncontrolled rage
- May include headaches, aches, pains, digestive problems, dizziness or lightheadedness.
A good nights sleep is critical to both our mind and body functioning and contributes to depression. When life’s circumstances inundate us, such as when we're experiencing challenges in relationnships or professionally, without emotional support, we begin to unravel. This is when the mind is in the anxiety mode. When the mind is overwhelmed, it begins to shut down and retreat (depression) and that affects the body. That's because the mind, when overwhelmed with anxious thoughts, does not relax enough to rest in sleep. If this anxiety of the mind continues (when you can’t shut down the mind at night or even waking with anxious thoughts during the night), it then goes into retreat over time. Retreat = Depression. When working with clients with depression, I ensure we deal with the issue of sleep. Once the mind vents, it resets to its natural processing rhythm.
Hypnosis is a safe and effective technique to relax the mind and to deal with the feelings associated with depression so that they can be released. Symptoms can be alleviated with hypnotic relaxation techniques but it is through hypnotic regression to the cause of the deep sadness that, through revisiting and reframing the event, brings relief and a shift in our emotional perceptions.
I know it helps people to move from survival mode to thriving mode. It wasn't until 2006 when I was in training to become a Clinical Hypnotherapist that I began to examine 'my depression". And as much as it really scared me to go into all the sadness that had accumulated over YEARS, doing so led me to the place where I felt free; the place where I could trust my own mind to guide me positively. I was able to still the voice that said I wasn't worth much so why try to prove otherwise, that I wasn’t allowed to be happy. That was over 9 years and was also when I took my last anti-depressant.
If you or someone you know suffers from a depressed state of mind, reach out! Because I know how they feel and will do my best to help them be free...like me!